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(Credits: Far Out / NYPL Public / Picryl)

Travel

Exploring 'Jennifer's Body' and the real-life mystery of Devil's Kettle

@notmyyaztattoo

For anyone that has seen the now-cult-classic film Jennifer’s Body starring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried, you’ll know full well that the setting plays a big part in the horror of the storyline—primarily, the town in which they live, and the place that the band goes to sacrifice Jennifer. Both of these places are appropriately named the ‘Devil’s Kettle’.

Although the film keeps the location somewhat ambiguous, Devil’s Kettle is actually a real place. Specifically, the falls in the film can be found on Minnesota’s North Shore. The striking location sits above Lake Superior about a mile inland on the Brule River at Judge C.R. Magney State Park near Grand Marais, Minnesota.

As the story goes – both on film and in real life – the waterfall splits, and the water on the west side of the falls into a hole in the rocks, and disappears, hence where the mystery lies. In fact, nobody really knows where the water ends up. People have tried tossing sticks, balls, dye, and other objects into the water to see if they will come out the other end, but these items always seem to get lost and vanish.

So, where do scientists think that the water actually travels to? The best running theory at present is that the water reenters the river from underground, as hydrologists have found nearly identical volumes of water flowing both above the Devil’s Kettle waterfall and below it.

However, this does leave one stone unturned. How come people never find their objects that get tossed into the stream? Scientists have tested everything from fluorescent biodegradable dye to actual GPS trackers, all of which are lost to the stream. Well, there might be a scientific explanation for that, too. 

Calvin Alexander, a colleague at the University of Minnesota, offers this idea up: “The plunge pool below the kettle is an unbelievably powerful system of recirculating currents, capable of disintegrating material and holding it underwater until it resurfaces at some point downstream.” However, he clarifies: “Unlike larger objects, the dye molecules won’t be held in Devil’s Kettle.”

So far, the items, including dyes, continue to disappear, so although some of this mystery has been solved, there is a sense of intrigue to the vanishing objects. Even if the water simply rejoins the river underground, the details of where that is and how it all goes down still leave a little bit to the imagination.

Regardless of the lore, Devil’s Kettle is still a beautiful spot and a prime destination for many during Minnesota’s hiking season. For those travelling near Grand Marais, Minnesota, it’s a trail worth taking a detour for. From the parking lot, it’s about a 1.5-mile hike to the Devil’s Kettle, which includes around 200 stairs. It’s a relatively easy hike, but there’s so much to see.

The falls are located within Judge C. R. Magney State Park. Just make sure you don’t swim in the falls, as the DNR says fluid dynamics offer an explanation. “The plunge pool below the kettle is an unbelievably powerful system of recirculating currents, capable of disintegrating material and holding it underwater until it resurfaces at some point downstream,” says Calvin Alexander.

If you find yourself in Minnesota, you may want to pay a visit to Devil’s Kettle and get into the spirit of Jennifer’s Body (but just don’t cannibalise your classmates).